Chances are, if you say the words “duct tape” in a crowd of people, everyone will have an ingenious use for it that they want to tell you about. And chances are pretty good that each and every use for it really works! That’s why when we see broken car bumpers, door knobs, sinks, water heaters, concrete floors, you name it, “Use duct tape!” is usually the first thing we say. Half joking but half serious, we all know the stuff works!
Invented around World War II to keep water from seeping into ammunition cases, duct tape has proven its versatility over the years. Due to its ability to repel water, it was originally named “duck tape.” But as the years went on and civilians noticed how well the stuff really works, they started using it around their houses for everyday repairs, like fixing heating and cooling ducts. Hence the current name of “duct tape.” See how that happened! It’s been used on NASA missions and can even hold tight in winds of up to 100 mph! The stuff is amazing!
As a camping enthusiast, I’ve discovered some great ways to use duct tape in the great outdoors. Here are 17 Duct Tape Camping Hacks that I love and I think you’ll love too! After reading these, you’ll want to make a permanent spot in your backpack or RV for a roll of it.
Protect a wound/remove a splinter:
Cuts and scrapes are inevitable when you spend time in the woods. If you don’t have a Band-aid handy, cover a cut with duct tape to keep it clean. Put a dressing on your skin first though, like a piece of cloth, so the tape doesn’t stick to your cut. To remove a splinter, gently press a piece of duct tape to the area until you can feel that the tape is in contact with the splinter. Then slowly pull back on the tape. It should pull the splinter out of your skin. Just be careful not to push it further into your skin.
Out on a (broken) limb:
To immobilize an arm in a sling, wrap duct tape around your arm and then secure it to your body by wrapping the duct tape behind your neck and then across your body, making sure the tape is holding your arm in a secure, comfortable position. To make a splint, surround the injured limb with padding, add a splint material (stick, tent pole, etc.) to secure the injured arm or leg, and then wrap duct tape around it to hold it together.
Cover that blister:
Cover a blister with a small piece of duct tape to keep it from getting worse or popping open. This provides a barrier between the blister and whatever is causing the friction on your skin.
You’ve sprung a leak!:
Fix leaks and rips in tents, awnings, sleeping bags, air mattresses, water bottles, and more with small pieces of duct tape. The uses here are endless.
If your fishing pole is broken, put it back together with duct tape. This should hold it for a while, but to catch “the big one,” you’ll probably need a new pole.
An in”sight”ful fix:
If a nose or ear piece has broken off of your glasses, use duct tape as a short-term fix until you’re in civilization again.
If you forgot to pack your croakies (that band that secures glasses to your head or around your neck), make one! Wrap duct tape around one ear piece, then pinch the sticky sides together to form a band. When you think it’s long enough to fit around your head when you’re wearing them, attach the other end of the duct tape to the other ear piece on your glasses. Hopefully this will save you from having to jump in after your sinking glasses.
Plug your sink:
If you can’t find your RVs kitchen sink drain plug, use a piece of duct tape to cover it so you can fill the sink with water and do dishes.
Use glow-in-the-dark to light things up:
To save yourself some embarrassment and maybe even an injury, place glow-in-the-dark duct tape on things around your campsite that are hard to see in the dark, such as your awning, a cooler, or your dog (put it on their collar, not their fur).
Instant waterproofing for your shoes:
If you’re hiking in a damp or wet location, wrap your shoes or boots in duct tape to instantly make them waterproof. Or if your sole is separating from your shoe or boot, seal it with duct tape.
Keep your socks up and your pants tight:
You’ve dressed for your adventure, but your clothes are malfunctioning. Never fear, duct tape is here! To keep droopy socks up where they’re supposed to be, wrap a piece of duct tape around the very top of the socks with just a little bit in contact with your skin. And to keep your pants tight around your ankles, cinch them with duct tape. Keeping your legs and ankles covered keeps pesky ticks, leeches, and other bugs off of you!
Blaze a trail (and mark it too):
Every so often, create an X on a tree or the ground with duct tape to mark your trail. This is especially handy when you take a turn or branch off of your trail and you might get confused on your way back.
Make a sweet bug catcher:
Nobody likes uninvited guests at their campsite, especially when they buzz around your head and want to feast on you. Walk around a tree with your duct tape and wrap it around the trunk as you go, sticky side facing OUT. Then slather it with honey and watch the bugs flock to it—and get stuck. How sweet it is!
Illuminate the night:
Need a hands-free nightlight? Attach a flashlight onto a hat or helmet with duct tape.
Keep food fresh:
So your kids just ate half of your potato chips and threw the bag back in the pantry after rolling the top of the bag over a few times. Like that’s going to keep them fresh? Instead, fold the top of the bag over and seal it with duct tape. This will keep ants (and maybe your kids) out, too.
No pockets, no problem:
If your clothes don’t have any pockets but you need to carry some cash or credit cards with you, you can put it in a sealed waterproof bag and then duct tape it to the inside of your clothes (shirt, jacket, vest, etc.).
Never find yourself without a little duct tape:
You never know when duct tape will come in handy (which is the essence of this post), and carrying a large, bulky roll of it around with you isn’t always possible. So make a small, portable roll by wrapping some around a lighter or old credit card. Put this in your pocket or backpack when you’re heading out and you’ll be covered.